Mari Mitchel


Mari is a native Californian, born in Pasadena and raised in San Marino.  Immediately following graduation from Pitzer College, she lived and worked in Kenya, first as a volunteer then employed in non-profit relief and development work.  Upon returning to the United States, Mari was employed by the Presiding Bishop’s Fund for World Relief focusing primarily on international refugee resettlement.  She continued working in the non-profit sector, concluding her professional life as a Manager of Major Gift for Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.  At CHLA she successfully established the Board of Regents, expanding the reach of the hospital’s major donor base.  Mari, Hank and their son, Kelford, moved to Santa Barbara in 2008.  Almost immediately she rechanneled her professional non-profit experience to focus on several philanthropic and volunteer opportunities – among them, the Board of the Cate Parents Organization (chairing the CPO and serving as a Board Trustee in 2011-2012), Trustee of Direct Relief (with the second term on the Executive Board); Chair of DirectRelief WOMEN; Member, Garden Club of Santa Barbara (Executive Board Member, 2020-2022); Member, Facilities and Horticulture Committee, Botanic Garden of Santa Barbara; volunteer advisor and supporter of several additional non-profits.  Mari has a passion for her garden (admitting to learning as she goes), as well as for private and public gardens.  She and Hank are Lotusland Members and donors, committed to its long-term success, its standing as a leader in whimsical design and horticultural collections, and its commitment to environmental conservation.